Affordable Online Legal Studies Degrees

If you’re interested in a career in law, whether as a lawyer or in a related field, an online legal studies degree will prepare you for the field. Legal studies is an interdisciplinary subject that examines how the law affects and is impacted by various social institutions. As a legal studies major, you’ll examine social policy through the lens of the law, gaining an understanding of jurisprudence from both a theoretical and practical perspective.

A legal studies program will introduce you to the foundations of law, covering concepts such as justice, public policy, constitutional history, and the role of the court system. In addition to studies in the law and legislation, you’ll also gain important skills in critical reading and writing, communication and listening, general research, and organization. An online bachelor’s in legal studies gives you greater career opportunities in the field, and can also be the first step on the path toward law school.

Even if you’re not interested in becoming a lawyer, a legal studies degree can lead to other relevant career paths, including careers in a probation office or in social work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual salary for a probation officer is $49,360, while a social worker earns nearly $46,000 each year.

These rankings are intended to help you find a legal studies degree online you can afford, and the methodology includes not just cheap tuition, but the best return on your investment as well. These accredited online programs offer maximum convenience and flexibility as you pursue a career in law.

Most Affordable Online Legal Studies Degrees
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Arizona State University - Skysong

Value Score 6.89
Students Receiving Financial Aid 71%
Net Price $10,595
Graduation Rate 66%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 94

Arizona State University Skysong offers a BS in justice through its School of Social Transformation that is a good option for socially-conscious students looking to earn a legal studies degree online. The affordable 120-unit program is heavy on English classes designed to prepare students for the rigors of law school or a writing-intensive legal career. In addition to general education math and English requirements, mandatory courses include classes on cultural diversity and global and historical awareness, as well as a one-credit ASU 101 class that familiarizes students with the school’s approach to research, academic integrity, and the importance of social embeddedness. As students progress through their core classes, they prepare professional resumes, explore internships, acquire professional references, and apply for full-time job opportunities, and all as part of their coursework. Students transferring from other Arizona institutions are guaranteed admission into the program if they hold an AA degree or have completed an Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) with a GPA of 2.5 or better.

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Bellevue University

Value Score 6.68
Students Receiving Financial Aid 63%
Net Price $8,204
Graduation Rate 18%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 87

Bellevue University’s online legal studies program offers a broad-based education that covers not only law and political science, but also economics, management, finance, and accounting. The asynchronous (meaning you can attend on your own schedule) classes are taught by faculty who are experts in the field, and courses often include guest lectures by industry leaders, such as federal judges, congressmen, and lobbyists. To earn an online legal studies degree, students must first complete 127 total units, including three classes in the school’s unique Kirkpatrick Signature Series, which examines American values and traditions. The program requires almost as many electives as it does major courses, making the program highly customizable. With campuses in three states, Bellevue offers the same affordable tuition to both in-class and online students, as well as a tuition discount to active military personnel. Students who have earned 60 credits are eligible to participate in an accelerated cohort program in which a community of peers pursues the same track of classes over a 72-week timeframe. This unique approach creates a support group of fellow students throughout the learning process, as well as a network of colleagues upon graduation.

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Brandman University

Value Score 5.94
Students Receiving Financial Aid 68%
Net Price $9,918
Graduation Rate 41%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 83

Formerly known as Chapman University, Brandman University offers a BA in legal studies with a paralegal specialization or a choice of three degree focuses: electronic discovery and legal technology, contemporary legal issues, or law practice management. Core classes in topics such as “White Collar Crime” and “Interviewing and Negotiation” and a final capstone project provide training in American constitutional governance and ethics as well as legal research, analysis, and writing. With year-round sessions and online classes that may be attended anytime, Brandman’s online legal studies degree program is especially appealing for working professionals looking to change or advance careers in law, public administration, or city government. Admission into the program requires students to have already completed 12 or more credits in bachelor-level courses. Completion of 120 total credits is needed to graduate. Sizable tuition discounts are offered to active duty military personnel, and special scholarships are available for qualified transfer students, making Brandman an affordable online learning option for a legal studies degree.

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University of Maryland-University College

Value Score 5.54
Students Receiving Financial Aid 38%
Net Price $12,299
Graduation Rate 8%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 97

Students looking for a legal studies degree online program that includes a strong liberal arts education will no doubt find the bachelor’s program at the University of Maryland University College especially attractive. Designed with input from scholars and industry experts, UMUC’s online program combines core classes in topics such as litigation, ethics, and legal practices with general education classes on subjects like writing, math, computing, arts and humanities, and behavioral and social science. The result is a well-rounded education that balances theory with real-world application. Classes can be completed according to your own schedule and are offered entirely online or in a hybrid format for anyone wishing to attend lectures at one of the school’s 20 locations in the Maryland area (including Virginia and Washington, DC). Earning a BS in legal studies requires the completion of a total of 120 credit hours, which generally takes four years to complete. However, the school accepts up to 90 transfer credits from other institutions and may also award credit for work experience and on-the-job training, potentially reducing not only the time it takes to get a degree, but also tuition, resulting in a very affordable total cost of less than $10,000.

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California University of Pennsylvania

Value Score 5.44
Students Receiving Financial Aid 77%
Net Price $14,619
Graduation Rate 51%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 64

This Pennsylvania school is located near Pittsburgh in California the city, not California the state. However, the outlook is still sunny for students looking to earn a legal studies degree online. Cal U’s bachelor’s program in Jurisprudence with a legal studies concentration is taught 100% online and provides a solid foundation in law, covering everything from estates and trusts to business and criminal law. Core instruction includes classes in medieval, classical, and Anglo-American jurisprudence, which examines the evolution of legal philosophies from Plato’s laws to the teachings of John Locke, John Stuart Mill, and Thomas Jefferson. Asynchronous classes allow students the flexibility to login and complete assignments on their own schedules, but students must enter the program at the beginning of the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Admission requires students to have completed at least 40 credit hours or to have earned an associate degree, and an additional 60 or 80 units will need to be completed to graduate. With tuition at less than $400 per unit, this program is cheaper than many others. The program is even more affordable for active duty personnel, who receive a special military discount.

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